Yoga and Meditation Tips to Relieve College Stress and Anxiety
Disclaimer: You should consult your physician or other healthcare professional before beginning this or any other fitness program.
College students face a significant amount of stress and anxiety, especially as the finals approach. Whether they have to take a 100-question test or fill out a 10-page paper, finals time equals stress time. There are holistic practices that students can use to alleviate their stress and anxiety: yoga and meditation. Not only do these practices help manage stress and anxiety, but they also help with focus.
What are yoga and meditation?
Yoga is an ancient practice dating back over 5,000 years in India. It comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuj– meaning “union” or “join”. The ideology behind yoga is to connect body, mind, and spirit to heal the whole person, not just segments. Dr. Natalie Nevisdoctor of osteopathic medicine, said: “The purpose of yoga is to create strength, awareness and harmony in both mind and body.”
Meditation is another body, mind, and spirit practice that dates back thousands of years. The goal of meditation is to develop awareness and mindfulness to help ground you in the present moment by training the mind to focus and redirect thoughts.
None of these practices require the user to believe in any particular spiritual or religious practice, but the user may incorporate yoga and meditation into spiritual or religious rituals.
Yoga and meditation provide many health benefits for the mind, body, and spirit.
Benefits of yoga:
- Stress reduction
- Reduction of anxiety
- Reduction of depression
- breathe better
- Improved muscle strength
- Increased flexibility
- Better heart health
- Improved general well-being
- Improved quality of life
Benefits of meditation:
- Increased focus
- Improved atmosphere
- Stress reduction
- Sleep improvement
- Reduced aggressiveness
- Greater adaptability
- Lowered blood pressure
- Improved quality of life
- Improved emotional regulation
- Helps with depression and anxiety disorders
- A greater sense of empathy and connection with self and others
Different styles of yoga
- restorative yoga
- Resets the nervous system while alleviating harmful stress to feel completely supported and relaxed
- A relaxing and meditative style of yoga
- Yin Yoga
- Brings positive stress to joints and connective tissue for increased flexibility to release tension
- Requires a lot of stretching while forcing the person to slow down
- Yoga Nidra
- Deep relaxation to tap into the subconscious
- A meditative yoga
Many options exist for students who prefer in-person classes in a group setting: college campuses, gymnasiums, yoga studios, etc. Most instructors list their courses on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. However, many yoga instructors post their videos for free on YouTube for students who need to save money or prefer to practice at home. Many YouTube yoga instructors blend different styles of yoga to create a practice that relieves anxiety and stress.
Yoga With Adriene offers a fantastic variety of guided yoga and meditation videos and provides a relaxing and fun atmosphere for its viewers. Adriene’s videos range from beginner to advanced, and her video lengths range from under 10 minutes to over an hour, so it’s easy for students to find a video that fits their schedule. His channel has an entire playlist dedicated to stress and anxiety.
Another channel that has a variety of yoga videos for stress and anxiety is Dosage of yoga. Most of the video instructors are male, demonstrating the gender neutrality of yoga. The channel has a few videos on stress and anxiety ranging from beginner to intermediate level.
Arianna Elizabeth promotes a relaxing atmosphere with its yoga and meditation videos. While guiding you through her yoga routines, soothing music gently cascades in the background. Like Adriane, Arianna’s videos range from beginner to intermediate, but the stress and anxiety videos focus on simplicity to ensure more people can use these great videos.
Different styles of meditation
Elizabeth Scott, Ph.D. has put together a great list of 12 different meditations that help with stress and anxiety.
Students can join a meditation group on campus or search for meditation classes in their area. Some coaches also offer distance learning courses.
For students who prefer more solitary meditation experiences, YouTube offers an unlimited supply of meditation videos and soothing music to play while meditating. Music apps like Spotify are also great tools for guided meditation and relaxing music.
To get the most out of a yoga and meditation practice, students should experiment with different varieties to see which works best for their schedule, preferences, and comfort. Some people meditate better with guided meditation, others with soothing music or silence. Some people may find a slow-paced yoga routine more calming, while others need something that requires more movement.
Mental well-being is a journey that confers remarkable benefits on those willing to take the time to discover themselves. Namaste.